mom2: An umbrella policy provides an additional layer of liability protection over and above the primary liability limits of your auto or home insurance.
For example: your primary auto policy liability limit is $500,000. God forbid you are involved in an at fault accident and cause bodily injury in excess of that amount - but, if you did AND you had a $1 million umbrella policy, you would then have an additional $1 million of liability coverage available.
You need to determine what level of coverage you need. Your agent can assist with that but, ultimately, it's your call. Actually, umbrella policies provide a tremendous amount of coverage for not a ton of $$. In recent years, umbrella premiums went up mainly due to the uninsured motorists coverage they can also provide. It is fertile ground for the ambulance chasing attorneys.
While we're on topic, I've really never understood why so many people believe their insurance premiums should never increase - even if they've had no claims. The principal of insurance is to spread the risk over a large number of people. Just because you didn't have a claim doesn't mean that thousands of others insured with the same company as you didn't either. I'm sure many of you have seen substantial increases in your homeowner premiums - and if you haven't yet - you will. That's because the last couple of years of Mother Nature gone amuck have caused hundreds of millions in insured claims. Since the risk is spread among many, everyone's rates necessarily increase.
The cost of nearly everything that insurance covers continues to go up year after year. Why would you not expect insurance premiums to increase accordingly?
On the plus side, we Ohioans enjoy some of the lowest auto premiums in the country. Ask your friends in Michigan, New Jersey or California (to name but a few) what they pay.
Additionally, the next time the guy next door brags about how he "got back" at his insurance carrier by padding a claim, turning in something as a claim that really wasn't, etc., keep in mind that he's hurting you and everyone else.
Why do you think you see soooooooooo many commercials from attorneys trying to convince you that insurance companies are rotten SOB's and you really should hire them to get every penny "you deserve"? The jackpot awards they seek affect all of us. If you are seriously injured through someone else's negligence, then you truly do deserve all of your expenses to be covered and a reasonable amount for pain and suffering if appropriate. It would boggle your mind how much is paid out each year in bogus claims and frivolous lawsuits. Again, affecting everyone's rates.